Guest Standing During The Ceremony? POLL

posted 3 months ago in Ceremony
  • poll: How long would you be willing to stand for a ceremony?
    No more than 20 minutes : (11 votes)
    6 %
    No more than 15 minutes : (12 votes)
    7 %
    Seat for everyone would be best : (145 votes)
    85 %
    You're overthinking it because you're two weeks out :) : (3 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 46
    493 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    If your reception is cocktail with the idea of everyone standing and mingling…. I would hope the ceremony would enough seats, because that seems like a lot of standing for people as a whole… however… if you can scale the ceremony portion down significantly… I could see it working. My best friend got married in a wine shop (a friend owned) and they got married on the balcony, so everyone was standing below, however their cermony was under 10 mins.

    Post # 47
    142 posts
    Blushing bee

    It looks like I somehow deleted my response… so I will try again!

    Having a half seating/standing ceremony is very normal where I live but I really dislike them. I’m disabled and cannot stand still for that length of time. The issue is if I am not using my chair/aids I don’t “look disabled”. So instead I look like a rude and entitled young person who is stealing the seat of an older guest.

    I understand that at this point it might be out of your control, so I do have some advice. You need really clear seating instructions, even if it is just for officiant giving directions over the speaker. I went to a wedding years ago where Darling Husband was in the bridal party. I didn’t know his friends well (we had not been together long) but because they knew Darling Husband very well, they knew I was disabled and politely sent me a message asking if I required seating. They had a seat with my name reserved, they also did this for close family and other people that required seating. The issue is there was also some free seating at the back. Just before the ceremony started I had to convince the other young people I was talking to to take the seats. I did this as I knew the bride would hate a row of empty seating in her photos when there were so many guests standing behind. Years later when planing our own wedding I mentioned this to Darling Husband as something I didn’t want and he laughed. Turns out him and the other groomsmen had commented how rude it was that young (healthy) guests had taken the seats. They never realized that the young people wanted the older people to sit down, they just never did! 

    Post # 48
    961 posts
    Busy bee

    We got married on a yacht and the ceremony space was also the dance floor. We had chairs/stools around the edges of the space for people, but not enough for everyone to sit during the ceremony. Our ceremony was under 15 minutes (and after dinner) and we went directly into dancing (like literally. Darling Husband and I kissed, turned to face guests, then a dance song started and we started pulling people out to dance). It seemed to work – I didn’t see women making beelines for seats as soon as the ceremony was over – people were dancing and kept dancing. Our wedding was casual, however, so most people wore comfortable shoes (boat shoes, low heels, sandals, or flats), which I’m sure made a difference. 

    I would let guests know the parameters of the ceremony and let them choose their footwear appropriately. 

    Post # 49
    1867 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2015

    I was very careful to have enough seats for everyone at my ceremony.  However, apparently my Mother-In-Law snuck in right before my ceremony and taped off two entire rows as reserved for her relatives.  Then she forgot to tell them to sit there.  So my ceremony happened with about 20 people standing in the back, and two empty rows of seats.  My friend who was playing cello for us had to stand up to see over their heads so he could know when to start/stop playing.  Luckily he is 6’1″ and very talented.  The people who stood were mainly in their 20s and 30s, and all assured me it was totally ok when I apologized to them.  But I’m sure they would have said that even if they were annoyed.  It wasn’t the end of the world, but I wish she didn’t do that.  (Also, in photos, it looks like nobody came to support my husband, since there are empty rows behind his parents.  He thinks it’s funny though, because he knows how his mom is…)

    Post # 50
    6864 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    Deep breaths, Bee. While the columns impact visibility so do people standing in front of you, so I’d cram as many chairs, benches, stools into that space as humanly possible. If they don’t have a mic set-up for the ceremony make sure they add one.

    Shame on the venue coordinators for not giving you accurate information; the next time they say it’s never been a problem show them this thread. It’s been a problem plenty of times before–they just want to book the venue. 

    ETA: I would rather sit facing a column than stand in heels for 40 minutes. Responsible guests who arrive early will get the best view and that’s okay. 

    Post # 52
    411 posts
    Helper bee

    Most women wear heels to weddings so unless you want them to be miserable and leave early, please provide chairs.

    Post # 53
    7047 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    That upstairs room looks plenty big! If you have 61 confirmed, maybe round up to 65 or 70 to be safe. 

    at 70, you need 35 seats on each side if you want an aisle down the middle. That is 5 rows of 7 chairs on each side. You might not be able to fit those comfy arm chairs there, but the smaller black chairs pictured with the pillars you should be fine. Where exactly in the room are you getting married? On the left in front of the windows? There is technically “standing room” outside in the hall so if they put as many chairs as they could you would possibly only have a few late-comers standing back there?

    I’m sorry I came off pretty harsh at first! This is entirely the venue’s fuck up and false advertising really. 

    Post # 54
    3597 posts
    Sugar bee

    I would have it outside and rent heaters. Then I would put a big basket with blankets and pashminas at the entrance. And I would send out an email letting everyone know that the ceremony will be outside if the weather is moderate and inside with limited seating if super cold so they can dress appropriately (coats and/or flats depending on the weather).

    Post # 55
    3597 posts
    Sugar bee

    p.s. after the wedding, I would post reviews everywhere so future brides are aware.

    Post # 56
    3525 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2021

    frenchtoastvegan :  Out of those options I think I’d go with the marble staircase. I think there is enough space to work with there to be able to figure out a decent layout that accommodates 65 chairs. 

    I’d be insistent that the venue work with you one figuring out an arrangement that works in that space because it was them who misguided you in the first place and they need to make up for that. No “it won’t work so don’t bother” bullshit – they can make it work, they just need to figure out how. 

    You can even play around with how you do the processional and stuff if necessary – it can be fun to infuse something different anyways. For example, if you fill the widest space in the middle there with benches that can reasonably accommodate 6 people each, You can put five rows there which is 30 already, and then you can put two or three rows of three-person benches on each side (now up to 42-48 depending) and a bunch of barstools along the back that people can situate however they need to. 

    Because you’d be losing the aisle down the middle, is there a way you could integrate the staircase into the professional? Like the bridal party are all at the bottom of the staircase and you come walking down it? Would be kind of cool 🙂 

    Unless my estimation of that space is waaaaay off haha but I based it on the chairs they had in the picture. 

    Post # 57
    579 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    Just to nuance this conversation a bit… we were married in a church with no pews. This is typical for our religion and the ceremony ran about 45 minutes. We were very clear on the wedding website and also spread the word via word of mouth. Many of our guests are from the same religious/cultural tradition so it wasn’t a surprise to them. We did have chairs in the back for people who could not stand for the whole time and they were used. This is fairly typical in my circle but if I were having a wedding outside of a church, I would opt for a seat for every guest. 

    Post # 58
    5101 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Ok so they said the room can’t gir 75 chairs can they extend seating outside the room to seat everyone but mot technically in the room? I’d push the venue  a but more to figure it out since they misled you. 



    Post # 59
    3866 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    Hm… are you sure you can’t fit 61+ chairs in the original upstairs room? Can you go have another look and practice setting up some rows/stepping out how many you can fit? It’s just it doesn’t seem much smaller than the room I got married in, and we had 84 chairs (6 chairs on each side of the aisle, 7 rows deep). There might not be a lot of room to manouveur but I feel like you could do it if they’ll let you. 

    Post # 60
    5101 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Side note is it bench seats or chairs? 

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